A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Falling Into Place

Now the attention turns to first base. I'm done saying the words can't and Omar in the same sentence. The big question is, will he go for Carlos Delgado? He has made his intentions known of adding one more big bat and at this point there is one open hole that needs to filled in the starting lineup. However, Carlos is interested in Texas and Texas is certainly interested in him.

Playing in what might be baseball's toughest division, the Rangers need him. You'll find Rangers fans stacked at the wall, thousands deep, wailing about pitching. But if you were paying attention last September, when the club's surprising comeback try fell short, it was the offense that let the Rangers down, not Kenny Rogers and company.

They have already added Richard Hidalgo who has a great chance of knocking 40+ homers in Arlington to team that scored the 4th highest run total in the majors with 860. Now they are looking to add Delgado. They won 89 games in 2004 and bringing in that much firepower would certainly seem to push them past that 90 win margin and into legitimate contenders. However, who actually trusts their staff? Their bullpen was the strong point of their pitching staff, but anyone who had ten or more starts possessed ERAs of 4.76, 4.20, 5.46, 5.68, 5.61, and 6.78. Out of all those pitchers, they K'd only 475 guys in 787.1 innings and had a WHIP of 1.55. The Angels ramped up their team a bit too, but if the Rangers happen to hit their way into the playoffs, they will have some serious problems getting past the first round with Kenny Rogers leading the charge. However, acquiring Delgado will allow them to shop Adrian Gonzalez and/or Mark Teixiera for some much needed pitching and Teixiera can certainly bring back a stud should they make that highly unlikely move. I like Texas and their young nucleus of players and it will certainly be interesting to see how this thing plays out because the media is suggesting that they will need to move Alfonso Soriano to be able to bring Delgado to Arlington.

Both sides are motivated to get this move done and it really looks like something that will happen in my opinion. Delgado will be going to a team that will be contending for a division crown and he will be able to smash a ton of homeruns which certainly seems like a good fit for both sides. For that reason, I am afraid Sammy Sosa may be the guy Minaya adds to the mix as the last big bat. Phil Rogers makes his pitch for Sosa being traded to the Mets.

Does Minaya have one more move left in him? Don't be surprised if he does.

How about Sosa, Kyle Farnsworth and cash to the Mets for Floyd, Jae Seo, Aaron Heilman and a prospect or two? That move, or one like it, could be made by the end of the week, or at least in time to get Sosa on the cover of the Mets' media guide alongside Martinez and Beltran.

If Sosa would waive his clause that kicks in that guarantees 2006 and does not receive and extension from the Mets, I can kind of go along with it. However, the chances of Sosa not asking for a very expensive extension is bit unlikely and therefore makes this trade a bad idea. Throwing in Farnsworth sweetens the deal with his 100 mph fastball and his ability to face plant Paul Byrd, but Sosa would be deadweight to this team past this year with his huge contract. Financially, adding Sosa would only add about $6.5 million this year as the Cubs are going to pick up a ton of money owed to him. I just think the writing is on the wall and it will be a way for the Mets to keep their payroll a bit under or at $110,000,000, which Wilpon would probably like to see at this point. Yes, I'm predicting it. Sneezin' Sammy Sosa will be manning the outfield in Shea. We all know Minaya wants him and he would certainly fits the role of a cleanup hitter which the Mets need at this point. Add Minaya's desire for Sosa and this Beltran deal with the rumors that the Mets have been looking at another Boras client in Travis Lee. Travis Lee made $2,000,000 in 2004 but was troubled by injury for the most part of the year and only got nineteen at-bats. Now the Boras and Minaya have a nicey nice relationship this looks like a real possibility. I do not think this is an optimal set of moves for this team, but the lineup still looks effective.

Reyes (S)
Matsui (S)
Beltran (S)
Sosa (R)
Piazza (R)
Wright (R)
Cameron (R)
Lee (L) / Galaraga (R)

Not as balanced as you would like in the middle, but a pretty good lineup that should knock a few homeruns and drive in a few runs. My personal preference is the keep Floyd's left handed bat and smaller contract at Shea to balance out the lineup perfectly, but Omar looks set to send Cliff packing.

As for the Mets and Carlos Delgado, they are really not completely out of it yet. We've been over the payroll and for the money that the Marlins and Rangers are interested in him for, the Mets should at least put forward an offer. For $11 or $12 million dollars a year, the Mets would be at around $113 million per year for a very good rotation and a lineup that can mash. Before Minaya becomes fixated on Sammy Sosa again, I truly hope he explores the possibility of in Delgado, bringing in Magglio, or looking at Texas as a trade partner. I know Soriano already said he would not move to the outfield, but I'd rather have him than Sosa if Omar needs to have Cliff shipped out. As far as people complaining about Soriano being asked to play a position he has not played before in the majors, Alfonso Soriano came up as outfielder and was moved to the infield. He has never really made the transition 100% as evidenced by his high error total and like how Sheffield moved to the outfield in the middle of his career, I think Soriano would do a decent job. If Soriano would agree to move the outfield, the Mets would get younger and have more speed and power in the lineup and Soriano brings a very good throwing arm. In addition to exploring a Soriano deal, I hope Omar at least explores what it could possibly take to get Mark Teixeira or Adrian Gonzalez here.

I really cannot believe I just endorsed bringing Alfonso Soriano to the Mets but if it came down to Sosa or him, I’d take Alfonso. Besides, with Texas’ motivation to move him quickly to pave the way for Delgado he may not cost as much as he did a year ago when the asking price Reyes or Kazmir and if he can be bargin, he may be worth it.

Just chew on this opening day lineup.

Reyes (21)
Matsui (29)
Beltran (28)
Soriano (29)
Piazza (36)
Wright (22)
Diaz (23)....should be starting in place of Cameron the beginning of the year if there is any justice
Lee (29)

All ages are as of may 1st and that is a lineup I would not mind going to battle with. Of course if they somehow move Floyd without getting deadweight back, which they have not been able to do and probably will not be able to do, and bring in a healthy Magglio that would be a solid option if Delgado really will not leave the AL.

Omar’s got a lot of options out there in Delgado, Magglio, Lee, Soriano, Millar, Mientkiewicz, Teixeira, Gonzalez, Huff, and Sosa. In all likelihood Omar's next move is tied to moving Cliffy. Is he going to go for another outfielder and a first baseman or just first basemen since it is still possible he just sticks with Cliff? Although I cannot see him just sticking with Floyd, think Cliff should be kept at this point with him adding either Delgado, Millar, Lee, etc.

Now we all sit and wait for Omar's next move.

* * *

  • Welcome to NY Carlos!

    You will probably be known as a Yankee reject for the rest of your days here according to some in the media. Way to put negative spin on this in some way NYPost. Very impressive indeed. The ridiculousness is that it seems the reason the Yankees did not purse him was because they simply could not afford him and not because they did not want him. That does not make him a reject. There are a lot of players that would like to stay with their current team or go a specific team, but in reality, most people do not get their choice. Tim Hudson wanted to stay and Athletic, but was traded for monetary reasons. Is he now an Athletic reject? No. When Giambi only came to the Yankees because Billy Beane would not add a no trade clause was he an Athletic reject? No, but the Yankees were brilliant to land him at the time. The stupidity of that headline cannot be overstated especially since the Yankees did want him. They just could not afford him and the last minute offer by Boras was not so much of discount. Boras had asked for 6 years, $16.66 million from the Yankees compared to the 7 years $17 million that was eventually offered by the Mets. This was not a big bargain for the Yankees and Carlos was not going to take that much of a hit to play for the Yankees. I do not think many people could argue the point that the Yankees can convince players to come play for them a lot easier than the Mets can though it looks like that is about to change. They could have given the Mets some credit with their pack page headline with a positive headline but that would be way too hard. There was no reason to make this about the Yankees.

  • So whatever did happen to those Yankees in this Beltran bidding war?

    A person familiar with the Yankees thinking said that while they liked the player very much, they were concerned about the luxury-tax implications of a $112-million contract, and that the timing wasn't perfect since some big contracts, like Kevin Brown and Bernie Williams, don't come off the books until next year.

    Steinbrenner held a 90-minute meeting in Tampa on Friday to discuss the Beltran situation, and while his baseball people expressed a concern about Bernie Williams' diminishing skill in centerfield, his "money men'' also had their say.

    One person who talked to Yankees officials said that the Yankees might have considered re-evaluating things if they were able to make a favorable separation settlement with Jason Giambi. However, that could take until close to spring training, and would be an enormous gamble for Beltran to wait it out when he had other $100-million-plus offers on the table.

    Ah, the infamous person familiar with the Yankees thinking. I think this finally proves the Yankees have a threshold. Beltran would have been a perfect fit for the Yankees and their aging team, but there was no bid. No peep or offer at all. I'm not sure what is bigger though, the Mets getting the two best free agents that were available this off season or the Yankees not even bidding on the two best free agents of this off season. This seems like some bizzaro reality. Life is good right now.

  • What the hell was Houston thinking not adding in the no trade clause? Only one team could ever trade for a contract as large as that and he would have basically untradeable anyway. If they really wanted him, it certainly looks like they made a huge mistake.

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